Stewart Rhodes, 56, and ten other members of the militia were indicted the day before for “sedition” by a grand jury, the US Department of Justice said in a statement. This is the most serious charge held to date against participants in the attack on the seat of Congress on January 6, 2021, when elected officials certified Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election.
Nine of them had already been arrested and faced prosecution for “criminal conspiracy” to interfere with an official process or violence, which involved some degree of coordination.
“Use of violence”
The head of “sedition”, punishable by 20 years in prison, goes further. According to the indictment, Stewart Rhodes “associated” with some of his co-defendants “in order to prevent the peaceful transfer of power”, in particular “by using violence”. “They organized transport from all over the country to Washington, equipped themselves with all kinds of weapons, dressed in combat gear and they were ready to respond to Rhodes’ calls to arms,” according to this document.
At the time of the attack, Stewart Rhodes, a former serviceman who founded the Oath Keepers in 2009, was near the Capitol, but it is unclear whether he entered its compound. In addition to Stewart Rhodes, the police arrested Thursday, in Arizona, another member of this radical group, Edward Vallejo, 63 years old.
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